The Outer Cannot Change the Inner – Osho

Last night you said that by changing the outer, the inner remains unchanged, untransformed. But is it not true that the right food, right labor, right sleep, right actions and behaviors are also important factors for inner transformation? Isn’t it a mistake to ignore the outer completely?

The outer cannot change the inner, but the outer can help, or it can hinder. The outer can create a situation in which the inner can explode more easily. The thing to be remembered is this: that the outer transformation is not the inner. Even if you have done everything and the situation is there, the inner is not going to explode. The situation is necessary, it is helpful, but it is not the transformation. And those who get involved with the outer….

The outer is a vast phenomenon. You can go on changing for lives and you will never be satisfied, and something or other will remain to be changed, because unless the inner changes, the outer can never be perfect. You can go on changing it and polishing it and conditioning it. You will never feel satisfied. You will never come to a situation where you can feel, ‘Now, the field is ready.’ So many have wasted their lives.

If your mind becomes obsessed with the outer – with the food, with the clothes, with the behavior… I am not saying to neglect them. No, what I am saying is, don’t get obsessed with them. They can be helpful, but they can become great hindrances if your mind becomes obsessed. Then it becomes an escape, then you are just postponing the inner change. And you can go on changing the outer. The inner is not even touched by it, the inner remains the same.

You might have heard one old Indian fable. In Panchtantra it is said that a mouse was very much afraid of a cat; constantly in fear, anxiety. He couldn’t sleep: he would dream about the cat and he would tremble. A magician, just out of pity, transformed the mouse into a cat. The outer was changed, but immediately the mouse within the cat now became afraid of a dog. The anxiety was the same; only the object had changed. Previously it was the cat, now it was the dog. The trembling continued, the anguish remained, the dreams were still of fear.

So the magician changed the cat into a dog. Immediately the dog became afraid of the tiger, because the mouse within remained the same. The mouse was not changed; only bodies, the outer. The same anxiety, the same disease, the same fear remained. The magician changed the dog into a tiger. Immediately the mouse within the tiger became afraid of a hunter. So the magician said to the mouse, ‘Now be a mouse again, because I can change your bodies, I cannot change you. You have the heart of a mouse, so what can I do?’ The heart of a mouse.

You can go on changing the outer, but the heart of the mouse remains the same. And that heart creates the problems. The shape will change, the form will change, but the substance will remain the same. And it makes no difference whether you are afraid of a cat, or of a dog, or of a tiger. The question is not of whom you are afraid; the question is that you are afraid.

The emphasis is – my emphasis is – that you must remain aware that your outer effort should not become a substitute for the inner transformation. One thing. Take every help that can be taken. It is good to have right food, but it is nonsense and madness to become obsessed with food. It is good to have right behavior, but it is neurotic to become obsessed with it. You should not become mad about anything.

In India there are many sects of sannyasins who are obsessed with food. The whole day they are thinking only of food: what to eat and what not to eat; who should prepare the food and who should not prepare the food. Once I was travelling with a sannyasin. He would take only milk, and only cow’s milk, and only from those cows which were white; otherwise, he would go without food. This man is mad.

Remember this: that the inner is important, significant. The outer is helpful, it is good, but you must not become focused with it. It must not become so important that the inner is forgotten. The inner must remain the inner and the central, and the outer, if possible, should be changed just as a help. Don’t ignore it completely. There is no need to ignore it, because really the outer is also part of the inner. It is not something opposite to it, it is not something contrary to it, it is not something imposed upon you – it is you. But the inner is the central, and the outer is the periphery. So give as much importance as a periphery needs, as a circumference needs, as a boundary needs – but the boundary is not the house. So take care of it, but don’t become mad after it.

Our mind is always trying to find escapes. If you can become involved with food, with sex, with clothes, with the body, your mind will be at ease, because now you are not going towards the inner. Now there is no need to change the mind. Now there is no need to destroy the mind, to go beyond the mind. With the change of food, the same mind can exist. You may eat this or that – the same mind can exist. Only when you move inwards… the more inner you reach, the more this mind which you have has to cease. The inward path is the path towards no-mind.

The mind becomes afraid. It will try to find some escape – something to do with the outer. Then the mind can exist as it is. Whatsoever you do makes no difference. It is irrelevant what you do – this mind can exist, and this mind can find ways for how to remain the same. And sometimes, when you struggle with the natural outlet, your mind will find some perverted outlets which are more dangerous. Rather than being a help, they will become hindrances.

I have heard that Mulla Nasrudin fell down his stairs. His leg was fractured, so it was put in a plaster cast, and he was told that for three months he was not to go up and down the stairs. After three months he came to the doctor and the plaster was removed. Mulla asked, ‘Now can I go up and down the stairs?’

The doctor said, ‘Now you can go. You are absolutely okay.’

Mulla said, ‘Now I am so happy, doctor. You cannot believe how happy I am. It was so awkward to go up and down the drain-pipe the whole day. For three months, every day going up and down the drain-pipe – it was so awkward, and the whole neighborhood was laughing at me. But you had told me not to go up and down the stairs, so I had to find a way.’

This is what everyone is doing. If one outlet is blocked, then a perversion is bound to happen. And you don’t know the ways of the mind – they are very cunning and very subtle. People come to me with their problems. The problem seems to be obvious – it is not. All problems seem to be obvious, clear – it is not so. Deep down something else is hidden, and unless that something else is known, discarded, gone beyond, the problem will remain. It will change its shape.

Someone is smoking too much and he wants to stop it. But smoking in itself is not a problem; the problem is something else. You can stop smoking, but the problem will remain, and it will have to come out in something else. When do you smoke? When you are anxious, nervous, you start smoking, and smoking helps you. You feel more confident, you feel more relaxed.

Just by stopping the smoking, your nervousness is not going to change. You will feel nervous, you will feel anxious; the anxiety will come. Then you will do something else. And you can find something which is a beautiful substitute; it looks so different. You can do anything. You can just use a mantra instead of smoking, and whenever you feel nervous you can say, Ram, Ram, Ram – anything continuously.

What are you doing with smoke? It is a mantra. You smoke in and out, you smoke in and out – it becomes a repetitive thing. Because of the repetition you feel relaxed. Repeat anything and the same will happen. But if you are using a mantra and saying, Ram, Ram, Ram, no one is going to say that you are doing something wrong. And the problem is the same.

The problem has not changed; only you have changed the trick. Previously you were doing it with smoke; now you are doing it with a word. Repetition helps; any nonsense thing will help. You just have to repeat it continuously. When you repeat a thing it gives relaxation, because it creates a sort of boredom. Boredom is relaxing. You can do anything that creates a sort of boredom. Boredom is relaxing. You can do anything that creates boredom.

If you are smoking, everyone will say that it is wrong. And if you are chanting a mantra, no one is going to say that it is wrong. But if the problem is the same, I am saying that it is also wrong – rather, more dangerous than the previous one, because with smoking you were aware that it was wrong. Now, with this chanting of the mantra you are not aware, and this disease that you are unaware is more dangerous and more harmful.

You can do anything on the surface, but unless deeper roots are changed, nothing happens. So with the outer remember this: be aware of it, and move from the surface towards the roots and find the root – why are you nervous? Someone is eating too much food. It can be stopped. You can force yourself to not eat too much. But why is one eating too much food? Why? Because this is not a bodily need, so somewhere the mind is interfering. Something has to be done with the mind; it is not a question of the body. Why do you go on stuffing yourself?

Too much obsession with food is a love need. If you are not loved well, you will eat more. If you are loved and you can love, you will eat less. Whenever someone loves you, you cannot eat more. Love fills you so much, you don’t feel empty. When there is not love, you feel empty; something has to be stuffed in – you go on forcing food.

And there are reasons, root reasons, for it, because the first encounter of the child with love and food is simultaneous. From the same breast, from the same mother, he gets food and love – food and love become associated. If the mother is loving, the child will never take too much mild. There is no need. He is always secure in his love; he knows that whenever there is a need the food will come, the milk will be there, the mother will be there. He feels secure. But if the mother is non-loving, then he is insecure. Then he doesn’t know whether, when he feels hungry, food will come, because there is no love. He will eat more. And this will continue. It will become an unconscious root.

So you can go on changing your food – eat this, eat that, don’t eat this – but it makes no difference, because the basic root remains there. Then if you stop stuffing yourself with food, you will start stuffing with something else. And there are many ways. If you stop eating too much you may start accumulating money. Then again you have to be filled by something; then you go on accumulating money.

Observe deeply, and you will see that a person who accumulates money is never in love, cannot be, because the money accumulation is really a substitute. With money he will feel secure now. When you are loved there is no insecurity; in love all fears disappear. In love there is no future, no past. This moment is enough, this very moment is eternity. You are accepted. There is no anxiety for the future, for what will happen tomorrow – there is no tomorrow in love.

But if love is not there, then the tomorrow is there. What will happen? Accumulate money, because you cannot rely on any person. So rely on things, rely on money and wealth. There are people who say, ‘Donate your money. Don’t accumulate money. Be non-attached to money.’ But these are superficial things, because the inner need will remain the same – then he will start accumulating something else.

Stop one outlet and you will have to create another – unless roots are destroyed. So don’t be too much concerned with the outer. Be aware of whatsoever your outer personality is. Be aware of it, be alert, and from the periphery always move towards the roots to find what the cause is there. Howsoever disturbing, move to the roots. Once you come to know the roots, once the roots are exposed…. Remember this law: the roots can exist only in darkness – not only the roots of trees, but the roots of anything. They can exist only in darkness. Once they are brought to light, they die.

So move with your periphery; dig it deep and go to the roots, and bring the roots to consciousness, to light. Once you have come to the root, it simply disappears. You have not to do anything about it. You have to do something only because you don’t know what the problem is. A problem rightly understood disappears. Right understanding of a problem, a root understanding of the problem, becomes the disappearance of it. The first thing.

The second thing: whatsoever you do is superficial; it is not you in your totality. So don’t judge a man by his actions, because action is very atomic. You see a person in anger, and you can judge that this man is filled with hatred, violence, vengeance. But a moment later the anger disappears; the man becomes as loving as possible, and a different perfume, a different flowering, comes to his face. The anger was atomic. Don’t judge the whole man. But this love is also atomic. Don’t judge the whole man by this love.

Whatsoever you have done is not your total sum. Your actions remain just atomic – part of you of course, but your totality transcends them. You can be different immediately. And whatsoever is known about you by your behavior, by your actions, by your doings, you can contradict. You may have been a saint: you can become a sinner this very moment. No one could imagine that you, a saint, could do this. You can do it. It is not inconceivable. You may have been a sinner up to this moment, and the next moment you can jump out of it.

What I am saying is, your inner is so vast and so great that by your outer it cannot be judged. Your outer remains superficial, accidental. I will repeat it. Your outer remains accidental, your inner is the essence. So remember to uncover the inner, and don’t get entangled with the outer. One thing more: outer is always of the past. It is always dead, because whatsoever you have done, you have done. It is always of the past, it is never alive. The inner is always alive, it is here and now, and the outer is always dead. If you know me – whatsoever I have done and said – you know my past, you don’t know me. I am here, the living. That is my inner point, and whatsoever you know about me is just the outer. It is dead, it is no more there.

Observe it in your own consciousness. Whatsoever you have done is not a bondage on you. It is no more really; it is just a memory. And you are greater than that. Your infinite possibilities are there.

It was only accidental that you are a sinner or you are a saint. It was only accidental that you are a Christian or a Hindu. But your innermost being is not accidental; it is essential.

The emphasis on the inner is the emphasis on the essential. And that inner remains free, it is freedom. The outer is a slavery, because you can know the outer only when it has happened; then you cannot do anything about it. What can you do about your past? It cannot be undone, you cannot move backwards. You cannot do anything with the past; it is a slavery.

If you understand it rightly, then you can understand the theory of karma, the theory of actions. This theory – one of the most essential parts of Hindu realization – is that unless you go beyond karmas, you are not free; unless you have gone beyond all actions, you will remain in bondage. Don’t pay much attention to the outer, don’t get obsessed with it. Use it as a help, but continuously remembering that the inner has to be discovered.

These techniques we are discussing here are for the inner, for how to discover it. I will tell you one thing. There have been traditions…. For example, one of the most important religious traditions has been Jainism. But Jainism pays too much attention to the outer; too much, so much so that they completely forget that there is anything like meditation, that there is anything like a science of yoga. They forget it completely.

They are obsessed with food, with clothes, with sleep, with everything – but with no effort towards meditation. Not that in their tradition originally there was no meditation, because no religion can be born without it, but they got obsessed somewhere with the outer. It became so important that they forgot completely that this whole situation is just a help; it is not the goal.

What you eat is not the goal. What you are is the goal. It is good if your eating habits help you to uncover the being. It is good. But if you become just obsessed with eating, continuously thinking about it, then you have missed the point. Then you are a food-addict. You are mad, neurotic.


From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Worlds Beyond Thought – Albert Blackburn

The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Albert Blackburn  and Gabriele, his wife.

Albert Blackburn:  Can thought go beyond?

Gabriele:  How can it? And what can go beyond? How can one go beyond?

A:  A new factor must obviously be introduced in order to transcend the thought process; and once again, we should be able to go into it right from this present moment.  Does anything exist in this present moment that is not a part of thought, and that is not a part of our memory bank and ego?

G:  I would say awareness, perception, and the factual things we are surrounded by.

A:  I think that you’re right.  I feel that perception is something beyond thought, because perception is inherent in every living creature in the world.  Every living creature has perception and is able to use perception within its own particular field of consciousness.

G:  Yes.

A:  I think the problem that exists is that we have identified ourselves with perception.  We say we’re perceiving, or we’re feeling, or we’re smelling, or we’re doing.  I think these are all ideas because from a factual point of view there is only seeing, there is only doing, there is only feeling, there is only smelling, there is only hearing; it is only an idea that we are seeing, we are hearing, we are smelling, we are feeling these things.  I believe that each person has to explore this themselves, and see if it is true; does perception exist beyond our personal ideas about it?

To me, it is a very real fact that perception is outside my field of consciousness.  It is completely separate from the thought process.  When my mind is quiet, there is complete perception; there is no fragmentation due to my personal identification with one object.

G:  But the moment I say that I am aware of that beautiful sunset, I bring in my ego, or I bring in the ‘I’ of thought.  I create a memory so that tomorrow I can say, “Yesterday I saw a beautiful sunset.”

A:  That’s right; in other words, we take a mental picture of something the minute we identify it and say, “I have seen it,” or “I am seeing it.”  I must remember it because it is a beautiful picture and I want to put it into my photographic album so that tomorrow I can drag it out and compare it to something else that I have seen, or so that I can tell you about it.

G:  That’s how we generate our own personal body of knowledge. 

A:  It’s also a matter of communication. We can’t communicate with another person without using words and ideas.  Communication on the physical level has to be through the field of consciousness, doesn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  I can communicate to you things that I have experienced, or things that I’m experiencing at the present time.  I can do it through words, or I can do it through memory, but I have to use the field of human consciousness.  I have to use the values, the words, and everything else that we both understand in order to get the idea across to you.

But your perception of an idea doesn’t have to involve the field of consciousness. A sudden understanding or a sudden knowing may occur inside of you when you hear me talking about it or describing it.  And even though I’m using my conditioning to describe it, you don’t have to use your conditioning to understand it.  That’s the point.

G:  I can use now-consciousness to understand it.

A:  Right!  This is very important, because it creates an entirely new situation.  In other words, you or I or anyone else, who is endeavoring to communicate a certain idea or a certain insight has to use accepted grammatical forms in order to be understood.  But the holistic understanding of the other person has to lie outside of the field of human consciousness.  If the person who is listening is understanding or interpreting the words in a mechanical way only, then that person’s understanding is only on the verbal level; it doesn’t go any deeper and it doesn’t affect the person’s actions.  For your actions in life to be really affected at the gut level, you have to understand things outside of the field of your personal conditioning. You can’t be caught by any of the words that you hear.  You can’t bring up something from your memory bank or bring up some photograph that you have personally taken, some memory, and have understanding take place.  The minute you catch yourself interpreting something in any way at all – going back to your memory bank in any way at all – drop it.  In dropping the memory, you are open again and free of your conditioning.  Once free, understanding can take place at a deep level, and this can really change your life.

This is why Krishnaji had such difficulty in communicating with the people who listened to him; most of them were interpreting the words that he was using.  They were mired down by the ideas that were evoked in their minds by the words that he used, and they made no impression on them at a deep level.  Consequently, there was no understanding.  They would say, “I understand what Krishnamurti is talking about, it is very plain he’s talking about,” but there was no inner revolution in their understanding of life.

G:  So it became another accumulation of ideas.

A:  Exactly, there was no inner revolution.  The inner revolution can only take place outside of the field of consciousness.  There has to be a listening, not you listening, there has to be a listening without ‘you’ in the picture.  And when there is that listening, then what is heard is not being interpreted, it is not being analyzed, and it is not being filtered through your conditioning.  In that, there’s a holistic understanding which affects you at a deep level, and changes your life, and brings about this inner revolution that Krishnaji was talking about.

G:  That’s right.

A:  I think that is the whole secret of it.

G:  Yes.  So this perception, this awareness is necessary.  If one is in a state of now-consciousness, then what is beyond that?  What is beyond man’s creation, beyond man’s whole field of the known?  What happens?  Let us go into that now.

A:  Well, the world of nature is beyond; understanding, love, affection, attention, compassion, beauty, and all the so-called virtues are beyond; everything that humanity has ever dreamed about possessing, but has never really possessed except as a name or an idea, is beyond human consciousness.  And it is not something that can’t be touched at any time, because what is beyond human consciousness (as we have said before) is the present moment. Thus beauty can be touched in the present moment if I’m not in the picture, ‘I’ as an idea.  Affection can be touched in the present moment; love can be touched in the present moment; understanding can be touched.  All of the things we have just named can be touched in the present moment.

G:  Yes.

A:  It is so simple everybody passes it by, because most of us expect a complicated answer.  You have to experiment and discover for yourself the simple beauty of this approach to life.

G:  It is so direct.

A:  Absolutely direct; direct perception; direct action.

G:  So how does one wake up?  How does one stay in the now?

A:  Well, let us start in this present moment again, because this is the beginning point.  Every step, every question has to begin with this present moment.  Would you ask the question, “How can I sit in this chair?”

G:  No, I guess I know how.

A:  “How can I put my feet on the floor?”  “How can I put my two hands together?”  “How can I look at another person?”  You know, it is so simple. There’s no how to it for us.  So the question is not how to do something in a positive way, but rather what prevents us from doing it? That should be the question.  What prevents me from being aware that I’m sitting in this chair?  What prevents me from being aware that I have my hands clasped together and my thumbs are moving together against each other?  What prevents me from being aware of this?

G:  All that we’ve been talking about.

A:  Right; thought.

G:  Thought.

A:  In other words, identification with a certain object or a certain idea that was recalled through the memory process, a retrieval from our personal memory bank. That’s what prevents us from being constantly attentive and aware of what is happening in the present moment.

G:  Then without awareness there is no true love, no beauty, no compassion, no affection, none of those things that are beyond thought.

A:  They don’t exist, if I’m thinking.

G:  No.

A:  They can’t.  Each one can exist as an idea; I can name each one as an abstraction.  But it is just an idea, it is not the thing itself.  The emotions themselves, which are part of the holistic feeling about life which contains all of those so-called virtues, are there every moment.  But we’re simply not aware of them because we’re busy thinking about some picayune idea that has nothing to do with them at all.

Of course, you have to use thought in order to make plans.  If you have a certain insight into what has to be done this afternoon, or tomorrow, or whatever, you have to use thought.  You have to use the creative planning capacity of your brain in order to bring it about.  But most of the time we’re not in that situation; most of the time we could sit back and enjoy these other things that we’ve been talking about as possibilities.  We could enjoy them as facts, and not just as ideas.

G:  In other words, I don’t see nature when I’m thinking.

A:  Of course not.

G:  I can see that that’s a tree, or a bird, and so on, but I don’t really see it, feel it, or perceive it when the mind is chattering

A:  The minute you name something you don’t perceive it, either.  You perceive the tree, and the minute you name the tree, the perception is gone.  In the act of naming, the name you are giving the tree becomes superimposed between you and the tree.  The same phenomenon takes place in every phase of our life.

G:  Seeing the beauty of what we’re saying, and the necessity of it, and perhaps experiencing it – how does it come about?

A:  I think we should start once again with something that we can understand.  Obviously, thought cannot wake itself up.  I consider thinking a form of dreaming.  (People call it thinking, you know, but actually it is day-dreaming!)  Thought can’t wake itself up.  If you’re in the middle of a dream at night, you normally can’t wake yourself up immediately.  However, there are certain techniques that the occultists use to trick themselves into waking up in the middle of a dream; they then go on with the dream in a different way, objectively.

G:  They’re experimenting with this now in dream labs.

A:  There’s the possibility of doing this.  There’s also the possibility of waking yourself up and becoming aware of the fact that you have been thinking a certain train of thought.  Then, instead of continuing that particular thought (which, from your point of view, might be a negative thought), you continue in the thought process by substituting what you consider to be a more positive, more acceptable thought.

G:  That’s still the same old thing.  It is still using memory to trick yourself into thinking in another way.

A:  So both ways are really tricks of the mind, aren’t they?

G:  Yes.

A:  So, if thought cannot wake itself up, if thought cannot bring itself to an end, if thought cannot extricate itself from the field of human consciousness – which is the origin of thought in the first place – then something else has to take place, doesn’t it?  Another factor must come into play to break the impasse.  Earlier, we came to the realization that perception and awareness are outside of human consciousness.  So what is it that will wake us up?  That was the question you asked.

G:  Just now you said thought can’t achieve its own end.  What do you mean by that?  You can’t think yourself to the end of thought?

A:  No, there has to be some outside agency, doesn’t there?  There has to be some factor outside of my conditioned response.

G:  You said that thought can’t stop itself.  You can’t sit there and say, “I’m going to meditate and stop thinking?”

A:  No, because consciously stopping a negative type of thought, for instance, and turning it into a positive thought, is still continuing the thought process.  Some of the so-called New-Thought organizations do this type of mental manipulation; they tell you to think positively instead of negatively.  It is just a trick of the mind.  In other words, they continue to experience the same dream, only they’ve edited it now, and they turn it into a positive dream instead of a negative one.

But this doesn’t answer your question, and I think it is an intriguing question.  I like to use analogies, because I think analogies are really another way of talking about harmonics on another level.  For example, you yourself have thoroughly studied and used your mind and your mental capacity to its utmost to determine all of the facts concerning a certain way of living.  You’ve gone as far as you can go in creatively thinking about the subject, and have used your mental capacity to find out everything related to the healing work that you do.  Is that true?

G:  Yes, it is.

A:  Then suppose that somebody calls you this afternoon and tells you that your assistance is required tomorrow morning at 8:00, that the capacity that you’ve developed as a ‘healer’ is needed to help someone.  You realize the value of doing this, you see that life has chosen you to do this and that you have the capacity to do it, and you have a feeling that you can perhaps help this other person.  Are you going to need an alarm clock to wake you in time to be ready for your 8 o’clock appointment tomorrow morning?  Or are you going to wake up spontaneously?

G:  I’ll wake up by myself.

A:  You’ll wake up.  You won’t need an alarm clock.  You may set one just as a safety measure because you may not be completely sure you’ll wake up, but you will always awaken.  Just as I’d wake up if somebody called me and wanted to talk about my favorite subject, now-consciousness.  I would wake up; I wouldn’t need an alarm clock because I’m intensely interested in the subject, just as you are intensely interested in what you are doing, too.  We can’t say it is ‘you’ waking yourself up, or ‘me’ waking myself up.  It is the interest that we have in the things with which we are involved that wakes us up.  That interest is part of the life-force, the vitality or energy of life, that awakens us.  Isn’t that true?

G:  Yes, one can hardly wait to get started.

A:  Well, if this is true on the physical level, why doesn’t it apply on other levels as well?  Wouldn’t it apply to waking up from a thought pattern?

G:  It is part of that inner intention, that interest.

A:  Suppose that I have gone into this deeply enough to see the value and the logic of waking up.  I realize that most of the time I identify with just one fragment of each moment.  I can see the potential danger in this limited response to unforeseen challenges and am really serious in my desire to change.  I see that I will be unable to cope adequately with emergencies that may come up as long as I’m plugged into only one channel.  Suppose that you have told me all of this, and I’ve looked into it and understood logically at least that what you say must be true.  I may not have felt it deeply because I have not experienced it myself, but I see that life must be much richer; there must be a thousand things out there of which I’m unaware.

My inquiry and deep interest opens the door for insight.  There is freedom from the known, because I clearly see that thought cannot make a breakthrough.  Another factor, outside of myself, must become operative.  In other words, I can’t consciously awaken myself from sleep, nor can I consciously bring about awareness.

Perceiving the validity of these observations gives me the inner intention to wake up, and this inner incentive accomplishes what thought cannot do.  Thought can’t extricate itself from the trap it has created.  It is the sincere acknowledgement of this impasse that opens the door for insight to occur.

G:  That’s exactly it.

A:  If I’ve reached that stage mentally, and have really pushed it and am really interested, my inquiry and my interest are going to be the very things that wake me up.

G:  And then you carry that through into action.  When someone comes to you with a problem, you approach it with an attitude of ‘I’ don’t know.  For example, I can’t approach the healing process with any knowledge that I have; but if I stay away from thought and just ‘tune’ into the energy that is there, that exists in that same state of perception, the healing may occur.

A:  Exactly.

G:  And if you take that approach when someone comes to you with a question, rather than approaching it from the standpoint of what you’ve already written or thought or experienced, then real communication may occur.  Or you may at least say something important to that person; whether they can comprehend it in the same way or not is not your responsibility.

A:  You are not personally providing the answer.  If you are open, if your cup is empty, and life is pouring information into you moment by moment through the medium of insight, then you are not consciously saying something designed to engender a particular reaction in the other person.  If you have the idea that you are going to effect a certain result, it is a product of thought

G:  That’s right.  ‘I’ am not a healer, ‘I’ can’t heal anybody.

A:  You will spontaneously and intuitively say the right thing, with no idea at all as to why you are saying it.  And it is life that engenders the understanding in the other person that might change the course of that person’s life.  But you are not doing it to bring about a specific result; that is the important point

People thought that Krishnaji deliberately said certain things to them personally that were designed to elicit particular results, because specific results did occur as a consequence of what he said.  But I don’t believe that he himself had any intention of doing that; he said what he did because at that moment it was the right thing to say.  It was life that engendered an understanding in the listener.

G:  Yes, because that energy, that life, that love that comes through, is then actually working in that state beyond thought.  And that is the state of pure insight and pure compassion, and in that state, healing and understanding can take place.

What do you think Krishnaji meant by saying that you must follow a thought to its end?

A:  If I’ve suddenly awakened to the fact that my mind has been identifying with a certain train of thought, there are two directions in which I can go, aren’t there?  Usually that direction is forward; I use thought and imagination to conclude the particular thought that I had been involved in at the time I awakened.  In other words I analyze my thought, interpret the thought that I’ve just had, and follow it through to a conclusion of some kind.  That would involve the thinking process, wouldn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  In other words, it would be impossible to proceed from the point at which you have awakened without using thought.

G:  So Krishnaji couldn’t have meant that, could he?

A:  No.  Let’s go back to the analogy of sleeping.  When you wake up in the morning, there’s an immediate awareness of the fact that you are in the bed where you went to sleep (if everything is normal).  An awareness of how you went to asleep at night, of how you prepared yourself for bed, of all of the events leading up to it – all of this comes to you in a flash when you wake up in the morning.  You don’t have to think about it; in a flash you see the whole backward track.  You even picture some of the dreams that your mind was involved in during the night.

In the same way, at a different and higher harmonic level, you can wake up or suddenly become aware of the fact that you’ve been involved in thought.  Immediately, instead of proceeding, instead of analyzing and editing the thought, and all of the rest of the process, be aware of your tendency to do this, and the minute that you start doing it, drop it.  In that dropping there is a clear seeing of the whole backward path.  You see the train of thought that you were involved with and how it originated.  You see the memory that triggered it; you see the life challenge that triggered it – you see the name, or the person, or whatever it was triggered that particular train of thought.  You can then perceive where the thought originated, how it started in your mind, how you were conditioned to react to a particular thing, and how you programmed yourself to respond in a particular way.  And then the thought can even be traced back into all kinds of other little channels back to the actual origin of the memory itself.  When all of that is clearly seen, it dissipates, it withers way.  It is no more, and you will not be troubled by that particular memory again

G:  Are you saying that it diminishes, that the content goes out of it, as well as the feelings associated with it?

A:  The feelings go out of it, the life goes out of it and it shrivels up in the light of understanding.  It withers away in the light of awareness that you focus upon the backward path leading to the whole train of thought.  But if you make the mistake of going forward, you give it new energy, you give it new life, you give it new continuity; and then it keeps coming up over and over again, and there’s no end to it.  It becomes a neurotic response

G:  And there is no end to it at all.

A:  So that’s what I feel that Krishnaji meant when he spoke of following thought to an end.  He knew that if you followed it forward it would lead to a dead end, that you’d never escape it, and that you would discover for yourself that you could never escape it.

G:  Is following thought to an end different then from analysis?

A:  Oh yes, completely; analysis is going forward with thought.  Analysis is going forward, but also looking back while you’re going ahead and analyzing the thing that you thought you were thinking about.  Analysis is part of the thought process.

Now-Consciousness is the world beyond thought, where there is love compassion beauty, and a holistic unity with all of life.

-Albert Blackburn

Excerpt from Worlds Beyond Thought, Conversations on Now-Consciousness, p.102 – 117

The Third Eye – Osho

Explain the relationship of the two eyes with the third eye. In which way do the techniques concerned with looking affect the third eye?

Firstly, two points are to be understood. One, the energy of the third eye is really the same as that which moves in the two ordinary eyes – the same energy. It begins to move in a new center. The third eye is already there, but non-functioning, and it cannot see unless these ordinary eyes become unseeing. The same energy has to move in it. When the energy is not moving in the two eyes it can move in the third, and when it moves in the third the two eyes will become unseeing. They will be there, but you won’t be able to see through them. That energy that looks through them will be absent; it will move through a new center. That center is between these two eyes. It is already there, complete; any moment it can function. But it needs energy to function, and that same energy has to be diverted.

Secondly, when you are seeing through the two eyes, you are seeing through the physical body. The third eye is not really a part of the physical body. It is part of the second body which is hidden – the subtle body, the sukshma sharir. It has a corresponding spot in the physical body, but it is not part of it. That is why physiology cannot believe that there exists a third eye or anything like it, because your skull can be analyzed, penetrated, x-rayed, and there is no point, no physical entity which can be said to be the third eye. The third eye is part of the subtle body, the sukshma sharir.

When you die your physical body dies, but your sukshma sharir, your subtle body, moves with you; it takes another birth. Unless the subtle body dies, you can never be freed from the circle of birth death, rebirth-redeath. The circle moves on.

The third eye belongs to the subtle body. When the energy is moving through the physical body, you are looking through the physical eyes. That is why through the physical eyes you cannot look at anything other than the physical, than the material. The two eyes are physical. Through these eyes you cannot look at anything, cannot see anything which is not physical.

Only with the third eye functioning can you enter a different dimension. Now you can see things which are invisible to the physical eyes, but are visible to the subtle eyes. Then, with the third eye functioning, if you look at a person you look at his soul, at his spirit, not at his body – just like you look at the physical body through the physical eyes, but you cannot see the soul. The same happens when you look through the third eye: you look and the body is not there, just the one who resides in the body.

Remember these two points. Firstly, the same energy has to move. It has to be taken away from the ordinary physical eyes and allowed to move through the third eye. Secondly, the third eye is not part of the physical body. It is part of the subtle body, the second body that is within. Because it is part of the subtle body, the moment you can look through it you look at the subtle world. You are sitting here. If a ghost is sitting here you cannot see it, but if your third eye is functioning you will see the ghost, because subtle existence can be seen only through the subtle eye.

How is the third eye related with this technique of looking? It is deeply related. Really, this technique is to open the third eye. If your two eyes stop completely, if they become non-moving, static, like stones, with no movement in these eyes, the energy stops flowing through them. If you stop them, the energy stops flowing through them. The energy flows; that is why they move. The vibration, the movement, is because of the energy. If the energy is not moving, your eyes will become just like a dead man’s eyes – stoney, dead.

Looking at a spot, staring at it without allowing your eyes to move anywhere else, will give a staticness. Suddenly the energy which was moving through the two eyes will not be moving through these eyes. And energy has to move; energy cannot be static. Eyes can be static, but energy cannot be static. When these eyes are closed to the energy, if suddenly the doors are closed and the energy cannot move through these eyes, it tries to find a new path. And the third eye is just near, just between the two eyebrows, half an inch deep. It is just near – the nearest point.

If your energy is released from these eyes, the first thing that can happen is that it will move through the third eye. It is just as if water is flowing and you close one hole: it will find another – the nearest which can be found with the least resistance. It will find it automatically; you do not have to do anything specifically. With these physical eyes, you just have to stop energy from moving through them, and then energy will find its own path and it will move through the third eye.

This movement through the third eye transforms you into a different world. You start seeing things you have never seen, you start feeling things you have never felt, you start smelling things you have never smelled. A new world, a subtle world, starts functioning. It is already there. The eye is there; the world, the subtle world, is already there. Both are there, but not revealed. […]

With the third eye you become capable of seeing things which are there, but which cannot be seen with ordinary eyes. All the methods about looking affect the third eye, because looking means a certain energy moving outward from you toward the world. If blocked, if suddenly blocked, the energy will find another path, and the third eye is just near. […]


From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #22, Q1

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A Light Without Source – Osho

You mentioned that rapid eye movements indicate mental processes and that if eye movements are stopped the mental process will also stop. But this physiological control of the mental processes, this stopping of eye movements, seems to create psychic tensions such as happens when we keep our eyes closed under a blindfold for a  long time. 

Firstly, your mind and your body are not two things as far as tantra is concerned. Remember that always. Do not say, “physiological process” and “mental process.” They are not two – just two parts of one whole. Whatsoever you do physiologically affects the mind. Whatsoever you do psychologically affects the body. They are not two, they are one.

You can say that the body is a solid state of the same energy and the mind is a liquid state of the same energy – of the same energy! So no matter what you are doing physiologically, do not think that this is just physiological. Do not wonder how it is going to help any transformation in the mind. If you take alcohol, what happens to your mind? Alcohol is taken in the body, not in the mind, but what happens to the mind? If you take LSD, it goes into the body, not into the mind, but what happens to the mind?

Or if you go on a fast, fasting is done by the body, but what happens to the mind? Or from the other end: if you think sexual thoughts, what happens to your body? The body is affected immediately. You think in the mind of a sex object and your body starts getting ready. […]

Physiological processes and psychological processes are not two things, they are one, and you can start from either pole to affect and change the other. And any science will do that. For example, tantra believes deeply in the body. Only philosophy is vague, airy, verbal; it may start from something else. Otherwise, any scientific approach is bound to start from the body because that is within your reach. If I talk of something which is beyond your reach, you may listen to it, you may gather it in your memory, you may talk about it, but nothing happens. You remain the same. Your information is increased, but not your being. Your knowledge goes on increasing, but your being remains the same poor mediocrity; nothing happens to it.

Remember, the body is what is within your reach; just now you can do something with it and change your mind through the body. By and by you will become a master of the body, and then you will become a master of the mind. And when you become a master of the mind, you will change the mind by and by, and you will be moving beyond it. If the body changes, you move beyond body. If the mind changes, you move beyond mind. And always do something which you can do. […]

If you close your eyes, sometimes you may feel a certain tension gathering there, or an uneasiness.

Then there are certain things you can do. One, when you close your eyes do not become tense about it, let them be relaxed. You can close your eyes forcibly – then you will get tense. Then your eyes will get tired and inside you will feel uneasiness. Relax the face, relax the eyes, and let them be closed. I say, let them be closed; do not close them. Relax! Feel relaxed. Drop the eyelids and let the eyes be closed. Do not force them! If you force them, that is not good.

If you cannot feel the difference, then do this: first force them to close. Let your whole face become tense, strained, and then close your eyes forcibly. For a few moments remain strained, then relax. Then again close your eyes relaxedly. Then you will feel the difference. Do not strain to do anything – that will tire you.

Two, when the eyes are closed and your face is relaxed, look as if everything has become dark. A deep darkness is around you. Imagine you are amidst darkness, in a deep, velvety darkness, surrounded by it, in a deep, dark night. Go on feeling this darkness. That will help your eyes to stop their movements. With nothing to be seen, the eyes will stop. Be in darkness.

You can do it in a dark room. Open your eyes, look at the darkness, then close them and feel the darkness. Again, open your eyes, feel the darkness; close your eyes, feel it inside. Darkness is deeply relaxing. Darkness is outside and inside you; everything is dead – dark and dead. Both are related. That is why we paint death as black, dark. All over the world death is painted as black, and people fear darkness.

While doing this method, feel darkness, love darkness, and feel inside that you are going to die. Darkness is all around, and you are dying. The eyes will stop. You will feel that they cannot move: they will have stopped. In that stopping, suddenly the energy will go up and start hammering the third eye. When it starts hammering, you will hear it, you will feel it. A warmth will come, a fire will flow – a liquid fire trying to find a new path.

Do not be afraid. Help it, cooperate with it, let it move, become it. And when the third eye opens for the first time, the darkness will disappear and there will be light – light without a source. You have seen light, but always with a source. Either it comes from the sun or from the stars or from the moon or from the lamp, but some source is there.

When your energy moves through the third eye, you will come to know a light without source. It is not coming from any source, it is simply there, not coming from anywhere. That is why the Upanishads say that God is not like the sun or like a flame. He is sourceless light. There is no source anywhere, simply light is there, just as if it is morning.

The sun has not arisen, but the night has disappeared. In between there is the dawn – the predawn.

Or in the evening, the sun has set and the night has not yet come. Just in between there is the margin. That is why Hindus have chosen sandhya as a proper time for meditation. Sandhya is the in between time – neither night nor day, just the line that divides. Why? Just as a symbol. The light is there, but without a source. The same will happen inside, light will be there without a source. Wait for it; do not imagine it.

The last thing to be remembered: you can imagine anything, so it is dangerous to tell you many things. You can imagine them. You will close the eyes and you will feel and imagine that now the third eye has opened or is opening, and you can imagine light also. Do not imagine; resist imagination. Close your eyes. Wait! Whatsoever comes, feel it, cooperate with it, but wait. Do not jump ahead; otherwise nothing will happen. You will be having a dream – a beautiful, spiritual dream, but nothing else.

People go on coming to me and they say, “We have seen this and we have seen that.” But they have imagined it – because if really, they had seen, they would be transformed. But they are not transformed. They are the same persons, only now a spiritual pride is added. They have some dreams – beautiful, spiritual dreams: someone is seeing Krishna playing on his flute, someone is seeing light, someone is seeing kundalini rising. They go on seeing things, and they remain the same – mediocre, stupid, dull. Nothing has happened to them; they go on relating that this is happening, that is happening, but they remain the same – angry, sad, childish, stupid. Nothing has changed.

If you really see the light which is there waiting for you, to be seen through the third eye, you will be a different person. And then you need not tell anyone. People will come to know you are a different person. You cannot even hide it; it will be felt. Wherever you will move, others will feel that “Something has happened to this man.”

So do not imagine; wait, and let things take their own course. You do the technique, and then wait. Do not jump ahead.


From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #22, Q3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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This Witness is Our Truth – Osho

A few days ago, I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice. When I try to find the answer, I only find silence.

Chidvilas, the moment you look into your self you only find silence. But are you not aware that you are also there? Who finds the silence? Silence itself cannot find itself; there is somebody as a witness who is finding the silence. Just your focus is wrong; you are still focusing on the object. It is just an old habit, perhaps cultivated for many, many lives, that you always focus yourself on the object, and you always forget yourself.

An ancient Eastern story is that ten blind men crossed a stream. The current was very strong, so they took hold of each other’s hands because they were afraid somebody may be taken away by the current. They reached the other shore, and somebody amongst them suggested, “It is better we should count because the current and the stream were really dangerous. Somebody may have slipped, and we may not even be aware.”

So they started counting. It was a great shock, and they were all crying and weeping; everybody tried, but the count was always nine—because nobody was counting himself.

Naturally, he would start counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….

My God, one has gone!” So they all were crying.

A woodcutter was watching all this drama and he said… he had never seen ten blind men together, in the first place. Second, what a stupid idea these people had. What was the need to cross the stream when it was so strong and flooded? And, above all, now they were counting, and crying and weeping for someone — they did not know who, but certainly someone had been taken away by the current. Watching them counting, he was simply amazed how was it possible that they were ten persons, but the count always came to nine?

Some help was needed, so he came down from his tree and he said, “What is the matter?”

They all said, “We have lost one of our friends. We were ten, and now we are only nine.”

The man said, “I can find your tenth man. You are right, you used to be ten, but there is a condition.”

They said, “We will accept any condition, but our friend….”

He said, “It is not a very big condition, it is a simple condition. I will hit on the first man’s head; he has to say “one.” Then I will hit on the second person’s head two times; he has to say “two.” Then I will hit on the third person’s three times; he has to say “three.” As many times as I hit, the person has to speak the number.”

They said, “If this is the way to find the lost friend, we are ready.”

So he enjoyed hitting very much, and he hit them in turn. When he had hit the tenth man ten times he said “ten.” All the nine said, “You idiot, where have you been?

Unnecessarily we have all been beaten! Where you have been hiding up to now?”

He said, “I was standing here, I was myself counting, and it always came to nine. This man seems to be a miracle man; he managed to find the tenth man.”

The story is significant for the simple reason that it has become our habit not to count ourselves. So when you are watching your thoughts, inside, you are not aware that there is a watcher too. When you are watching silence, you are not aware that you cannot watch silence if you are not there.

Chidvilas, you are asking, “A few days ago I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice?” Certainly I am not hearing it, and as far as I know nobody else is hearing it. You must be the guy who is hearing this voice. Everybody else has his own problem!

“When I try to find the answer I only find silence.” But then too the question arises: Who finds the silence? It is the same guy who was hearing the voice. His name is Chidvilas.

You have to become more subjective, more alert to yourself; we are always alert to everything around us.

Pat followed his friend Mike’s example and left Ireland to work in England. Though they had since lost contact, Mike had mentioned how easy it was to get a job at Whipsnade Open Zoo, so Pat applied. Unfortunately they had no keeper’s jobs available; there was not even the position of a sweeper vacant.

“But I tell you what, Pat,” the manager said, “the gorilla died a couple of days ago, and what is a zoo without a gorilla? But we have kept his pelt entire; now if you crawl into that skin and take over his enclosure, we will feed and house you, and pay you handsomely as well.”

Pat had a look over the lovely field that was the gorilla enclosure; he surveyed the comfortable gorilla house, and tested the bed provided. He agreed to take the job. Very soon Pat had become a great favorite with visitors to the zoo. Being a bit of an extrovert, he would always put on a good act,  tumbling, chest-thumping, and growling. But the climax of his performance was most popular. Whenever there was a good crowd, Pat would scale a large oak tree at the side of his enclosure where it adjoined the lion’s pen and pelt the lioness with acorns. The big-maned lion, in particular, would roar with rage and stamp about, and the crowd would roar with delight.

One public holiday a particularly large crowd had gathered, and Pat was aloft and reaching the peak of his performance. He had just finished off the acorn pelting with a bit of chest-thumping when the branch he was balanced on broke; he fell to the ground at the lion’s feet. Pat jumped up, shouting for help, and was about to scarper when the lioness whispered, “Hold your tongue Pat, do you want to lose us the best jobs we have ever had?”

Here, everybody has different skins only; inside is the same consciousness. Whether you are hearing a voice, or you are hearing silence, remember more about yourself—who is the watcher? Who is the witness?

In every experience, when you are angry, when you are in love, when you are in greed, when you are in despair, it is the same key: just watch—are you really in danger, or are you only a witness. Here we are, just sitting. Deep down, who are you? Always a witness.

Whatever happens on the outside, you may be young, you may be old, you may be alive, you may be dead—whatever happens on the outside, inside is the same witness.

This witness is our truth. This witness is our ultimate reality, our eternal reality. So all your work is concerned with shifting your focus from the object to the subject.

Don’t be bothered about anger, or silence, or love. Be concerned about whom all this is happening to, and remain centered there. This centering will bring you the greatest experience of your life. It will make you a superman.


From The Golden Future, Discourse #3

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The Eternal Present – Jean Klein

The “eternal present”, our theme in these meetings, lies within the depth of ourselves. It is the eternal awareness of the self.

Seen from the Ultimate, the world projected by the mind appears and disappears, in other words, it “becomes”. When we talk of time and space, it must be thoroughly understood that their reality is relative, it is a reality in the world of becoming. But beyond space- time is that stillness which knows no becoming.

If the background is to be revealed, first of all we must ask the essential question: “Who Am I?”

When we say “I”, we are identical with the background and this “I” expresses our most intimate self. Each time we say “I think”, “I see”, “I hear”, we qualify it. We associate the “I”, the subject, with an object of consciousness, with which we identify ourselves. But if we manage to keep the “I” clear of this identification, then appears the Self, the non-dual, everlasting, un changeable reality.

I would like the questions put during these talks to be spontaneous, not elaborated. This spontaneity comes if you adopt an attitude of true listening to yourself.

We obviously have to make use of language, as we use words, to remain open and to transcend them and feel out the ideas in their true reality, beyond the verbal plane. The hearer may then experience a genuine reaction enabling him to put questions which are truly pertinent.

The path which is here advocated is the direct path. Its process is the elimination of the known, since the experience of the Self, of our true nature, is for the moment unknown to us. The Self can only be described negatively since no positive concept, no part of anything we know, can be applied to it. All thoughts are fragmentations which place us in duality; they set themselves before the Self, thus making unitive knowledge impossible.

It is therefore by discarding the known, that is to say our thoughts, perceptions and emotions, that integration with the ultimate “I”, the everlasting present, is possible. The man who experiences this return, who has broken down the limitations set up by the ego, ceases to be tormented by desire and fear. He is in no way diminished by the loss of his individuality; he knows himself to be “out of time”. Only such a timeless “I” is entitled to say: “I am”.

Whether thoughts appear or not, the eternal Presence remains, transcending the three states (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). Nothing can cause the Sage to return to the level of duality. He is established in an undifferentiated state where the Atman, having realized its identity with the Brahman, shines its own light.

-Jean Klein

From Be Who You Are, pp. 29-30

Self-consciousness is Not Consciousness of the Self – Osho

For years I am most of the time witnessing and I feel like it is a disease. So is it that there are two kinds of witnessing and mine is wrong? Tell me.

It must be wrong; otherwise it cannot be felt like a disease. Self-consciousness is not consciousness of the self, and there is the problem. Consciousness of the self is totally different. It is not self-consciousness at all; in fact, self-consciousness is a barrier for consciousness of the self. You can try to watch, observe with a very self-conscious mind. That is not awareness; that is not witnessing, because this will make you tense. […]

If you are continuously thinking in terms of the ego, then even your witnessing will become a disease, then your meditation will become a disease, then your religion will become a disease. With the ego everything, becomes a disease. The ego is the great inconvenience in your being. It is like a thorn in the flesh; it goes on hurting. It is like a wound.

So, what to do? The first thing, when you are trying to watch, the first thing that Patanjali says is: concentrate on the object and don’t concentrate on the subject. Start from the object – dharana, concentration. Look at the tree, and let the tree be there. You forget yourself completely; you are not needed. Your being there will be a continuous disturbance in the experience of the greenery, of the tree, of the rose. You just let the rose be there. You become completely oblivious of yourself – you focus on the rose. Let the rose be there: no subject, just the object. This is the first step of samyama.

Then the second step: drop the rose, drop the emphasis on the rose. Now emphasize consciousness of the rose – but still no subject is needed, just the consciousness that you are watching, that there is watching.

And only then can the third step be taken, which will bring you close to what Gurdjieff calls self-remembering, or Krishnamurti calls awareness, or the Upanishads call witnessing. But first the two steps have to be fulfilled; then the third comes easy. Don’t start doing the third immediately. First the object, then the consciousness, then the subject.

Once the object is dropped and the emphasis on the consciousness is no longer a strain, the subject is there but there is no subjectivity in it. You are there but there is no “I” in it, just being. You are, but there is no feeling that “I am.” That confinement of “I” has disappeared; only amness exists. That amness is divine. Drop the “I” and just be that amness. […]


Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #10, Q3 (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8)

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Clouds Come and Go in the Sky – Annamalai Swami

When the mind appears every morning, don’t jump to the usual conclusion, ‘This is me; these thoughts are mine’.

Instead, watch these thoughts come and go without identifying with them in any way.

If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear. You will discover that this thing called mind only exists when thoughts are allowed to run free. Like the snake which appears in the rope, you will discover that the mind is only an illusion that appears through ignorance or misperception.

You want some experience which will convince you that what I am saying is true. You can have that experience if you give up your life-long habit of inventing an ‘I’ which claims all thoughts as mine’.

Be conscious of yourself as consciousness alone, watch all the thoughts come and go. Come to the conclusion, by direct experience, that you are really consciousness itself, not its ephemeral contents.

Clouds come and go in the sky but the appearance and disappearance of the clouds don’t affect the sky.

Your real nature is like the sky, like space. Just remain like the sky and let thought-clouds come and go. If you cultivate this attitude of indifference towards the mind, gradually you will cease to identify yourself with it.

-Annamalai Swami

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, page 267, David Godman


Meditation, an Experiment with Death – Osho

Before we move into the meditation, let us understand a few things. First of all, you have to let yourself go completely. If you hold yourself back even a tiny bit, it will become a hurdle in meditation. Let yourself go as if you are dead, as if you have really died. Death has to be accepted as if it has already arrived, as if all else has died and we are sinking deeper and deeper within. Now only that which always survives will survive. We will drop everything else which can die. That’s why I have said that this is an experiment with death.

There are three parts to this experiment. The first is, relaxation of the body; second, relaxation of breathing; third, relaxation of thought. Body, breathing and thought — all these have to be slowly let go of.

Please sit at a distance from each other. It is possible that somebody may fall, so keep a little distance between yourselves. Move a little back or come a little forward, but just see to it that you don’t sit too close to each other; otherwise the whole time you will be busy saving yourself from falling over Somebody.

When the body becomes loose, it may fall forwards or backwards; one never knows. You can be sure of it only as long as you have a hold over it. Once you give up your hold on the body, it automatically drops.

Once you loosen your grip from within, who will hold the body? — it is bound to fall. And if you remain preoccupied with preventing it from falling, you will stay where you are — you won’t be able to move into meditation. So when your body is about to fall, consider it a blessing. Let go of it at once. Don’t hold it back, because if you do you will keep yourself from moving inward. And don’t be upset if someone falls on you; let it be so. If someone’s head lies in your lap for a while, let it be so; don’t be bothered by it.  

Now close your eyes. Close them gently. Relax your body. Let it be completely loose, as if there is no life in it. Draw all the energy from your body; take it inside. As the energy moves within, the body will become loose.

Now I will begin my suggestions that the body is becoming loose, that we are becoming silent…. Feel the body becoming loose. Let go. Move within just as a person moves inside his house. Move inside, enter within. The body is relaxing…. Let go completely… let it be lifeless, as if it is dead. The body is relaxing, the body has relaxed, the body has completely relaxed…

I take it that you have totally relaxed your body, that you have given up your hold over it. If the body falls, so be it; if it bends forward, let it bend. Let whatever has to happen, happen — you relax. See that you are not holding anything back. Take a look inside to be sure that you are not holding your body back. You ought to be able to say, “I am not holding back anything. I have let myself go completely.” The body is relaxed, the body is loose. The breath is calming down, the breath is slowing down. Feel it… the breathing has slowed down… let it go completely. Let your breathing go too, just give up your hold on it completely. The breath is slowing down, the breath is calming down…. The breathing has calmed down, the breathing has slowed down….

The breathing has calmed down… thoughts are calming down too. Feel it. Thoughts are becoming silent… let go…. You have let the body go, you have let the breathing go, now let thoughts go as well. Move away… move within totally, move away from thoughts also.

Everything has become silent, as if everything outside is dead. Everything is dead… everything has become silent… only consciousness is left within… a burning lamp of consciousness — the rest is all dead.

Let go… let go completely — as if you are no more. Let go totally… as if your body is dead, as if your body is no more. Your breathing is still, your thoughts are still — as if death has occurred. And move within, move totally within. Let go… let everything go. Let go totally, don’t keep anything. You are dead. Feel as if everything is dead, as if all is dead — only a burning lamp is left inside; the rest is all dead. Everything else is dead, erased. Be lost in emptiness for ten minutes. Be a witness. Keep watching this death. Everything else around you has disappeared. The body is also left, left far behind, far away — we are just watching it. Keep watching, remain a witness. For ten minutes keep looking within.

Keep looking inside… everything else will be dead outside. Let go… be totally dead. Keep watching, remain a witness…. Let everything go as if you are dead and the body on the outside is dead. The body is still, thoughts are still, only the lamp of consciousness is left watching, only the seer is left, only the witness is left. Let go… let go… let go totally…

Whatever is happening, let it happen. Let go completely, just keep watching inside and let the rest go. Give up your hold completely….

The mind has become silent and empty, the mind has become totally empty…. The mind has become empty, the mind has become totally empty. If you are still holding back a little, let that go also. Let go totally, disappear — as if you are no more. The mind has become empty… the mind has become silent and empty… the mind has become totally empty…

Keep looking inside, keep looking inside with awareness — everything has become silent. The body is left behind, left far away; the mind is left far away, only a lamp is burning, a lamp of consciousness, only the light is left burning….

Now slowly take a few breaths. Keep watching your breath…. With each breath the silence will go deeper. Take a few breaths slowly and keep looking within; remain a witness to the breathing also. The mind will become even more silent…. Take a few breaths slowly, then gently open your eyes. If anyone has fallen, take a deep breath first and then get up slowly. Don’t rush if you are unable to rise, don’t rush if you find it difficult to open your eyes…. First take a deep breath, then open your eyes slowly… rise very softly. Don’t do anything with a sudden movement — neither rising nor opening your eyes….

Our morning session of meditation is now over.


From And Now and Here, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Eyes can Lead You to the Source – Osho

Tonight’s techniques are concerned with the practice of looking. Before we enter these techniques, something has to be understood about the eyes, because all these seven techniques depend on that. The first thing: eyes are the most non-bodily part in the human body, the least bodily. If matter can become non-matter, then such is the case with eyes. Eyes are material, but simultaneously they are also non-material. Eyes are a meeting point of you and your body. Nowhere else in the body is the meeting so deep.

The human body and you are much separated, a great distance is there. But at the point of the eyes you are nearest to your body and the body is nearest to you. That is why eyes can be used for the inner journey. A single jump from the eyes can lead you to the source. That is not possible from the hand, not possible from the heart, not possible from anywhere else in the body. From elsewhere you will have to travel long; the distance is great. But from the eyes a single step is enough to enter into yourself. That is why eyes have been used continuously in religious yogic and tantric practices.

The first reason is because you are nearest from there. That is why, if you know how to look into someone’s eyes, you can look into his depths. He is there. He is not so present anywhere else in the body, but if you can look into his eyes you will find him there. It is a difficult art to look into someone else’s eyes, and it comes to you only when you have taken a jump from your own eyes within; otherwise you cannot look. If you have not looked within beyond your own eyes, you cannot have a look into someone else’s eyes. But if you know how to look into the eyes, you can touch the depth of the person.

That is why only in love can you look straight and stare into another’s eyes. Otherwise, if you stare into someone’s eyes, he will feel offended. You are trespassing; this is a trespass. You can look at the body – there is no trespass. But the moment you stare into somebody’s eyes, you are trespassing his individuality, you are trespassing his individual freedom, you are entering him without any invitation.

That is why there is a limit, and now the limit can be measured. At the most you can be allowed to look for three seconds. You can be allowed just a casual look and then you have to move your eyes; otherwise the other will feel offended. This is violent, because you can have a glimpse of his inner secrets, and that cannot be allowed.

Only in deep love can you look into another’s eyes, because love means that now you do not want to maintain any secrets. You are now open to the other and the other is always welcome and invited to enter you. And when lovers look into each other’s eyes, there is a meeting which is non-bodily, there is a meeting which is not of the body. So the second thing to be remembered: your mind, your consciousness, your soul, whatsoever is within you, can be glimpsed through the eyes.

That is why a blind man has a dead face. It is not only that the eyes are lacking, but that the face is dead – not alive. Eyes are the light of the face: they enlighten your face; they give it an inner aliveness. When the eyes are not there, your face lacks aliveness. And a blind man is really closed. You cannot enter him so easily. That is why blind men are very secretive and you can rely upon a blind man. If you give him a secret, you can rely upon him. He will maintain it, and it will be difficult to judge whether he has a secret. But with a man who has alive eyes, it can be judged immediately that he has a secret.

For example, you are traveling without a ticket on a railway train. Your eyes will go on betraying you that you are without a ticket. It is a secret; no one knows, only you know. But your eyes will have a different look, and you will look at anyone who enters the train with a different quality. If the other could understand the quality, he would know immediately that you are without a ticket. The look will be different when you have a ticket. The look will be different!

So if you are hiding a secret, your eyes will reveal it. And to control the eyes is very difficult. The most difficult thing in the body to control is the eyes. So everyone cannot become a great detective because the basic training of the detective is the training of the eyes. His eyes should not reveal anything – or on the contrary they should reveal the opposite. When he is traveling without a ticket, his eyes should reveal that he has a ticket. It is very difficult because eyes are not voluntary: they are non-voluntary.

Now many experiments are being done on the eyes. Someone is a bramachari, a celibate, and he says he has no attraction toward women. But his eyes will reveal everything; he may be hiding his attraction. A beautiful woman enters the room. He may not look at her, but even his not looking at her will be revealing. There will be an effort, a subtle suppression, and the eyes will show it. Not only that, the surface of the eyes will expand. When a beautiful woman enters, the pupils of the eyes will expand immediately to allow the beautiful woman more space to go in. And you cannot do anything about it because those pupils and their expansion is non-voluntary. You cannot do anything! It is absolutely impossible to control them. So the second thing to remember is that your eyes are the doors to your secrets. If anyone wants to enter into your secret world, your privacy, your eyes are the doors.

If you know how to unlock them, you will become vulnerable, open. And if you want to enter into your own secret life, your inner life, then again you will have to use the same lock and unlocking system. You will have to work on your eyes, only then can you enter.

Thirdly, eyes are very liquid, moving, in constant movement, and that movement has its own rhythm, its own system, its own mechanism. Your eyes are not moving at random, anarchically. They have a rhythm of their own and that rhythm shows many things. If you have a sexual thought in the mind, your eyes move differently – with a different rhythm. Just by looking at your eyes and the movement, one can say what type of thought is moving inside. When you feel hungry and a thought of food is inside, eyes have a different movement.

So now even your dreams can be penetrated. Your eye movements can be recorded while you are asleep. And remember, even in dreams your eyes behave similarly. If you are seeing a naked woman in your dream, this can be judged from your eye movements. Now they are mechanical devices to record what are the movements of the eyes.

These eye movements are called R.E.M. – Rapid Eye Movements. They can be recorded on a graph, just like an electro-cardiogram. If you have been sleeping for the whole night, your eye movements can be continuously recorded. And then the graph can show when you were dreaming and when you were not, because when you are not dreaming the eyes stop and become static. When you are dreaming, they move, and the movement is like when you are seeing something on the screen. If you are seeing a film, the eyes have to move. In the same way, in your dream your eyes move: they are seeing something. They follow the movements of the film. For your eyes there is no difference between an actual film being shown on the screen or just a dream film.

So these R.E.M. recorders tell how much you dreamt in the night and for how many moments you were not dreaming, because the eyes stop their movement when you are not dreaming. There are many persons who say they never dream. They just have a very absent-minded memory – nothing else. They cannot remember, that is the only thing. They are actually dreaming, for the whole night they are dreaming, but they cannot remember. Their memory is not good, that is all. So in the morning when they say there was no dream, do not believe them.

Why do the eyes move when there is a dream, and why do the eyes stop when there is no dream? Each eye movement is joined to the thought process. If thinking is there, the eyes will move. If there is no thinking, the eyes will not move – there is no need.

So remember this third point also, that eye movements and thinking are joined together. That is why if you stop your eyes and their movements, your thought process will stop immediately. Or if your thought process stops your eyes will stop automatically.

And one point more, the fourth. The eyes move continuously from one object to another. From A to B, from B to C, they go on moving. Movement is their nature. It is just like a river flowing: movement is their nature! And because of that movement, they are so alive! Movement is also life.

You can try to stop your eyes at a particular point, at a particular object, and not allow them to move, but movement is their nature. You cannot stop movement, but you can stop your eyes: understand the distinction. You can stop your eyes at a particular fixed point – on a dot on the wall. You can stare at the dot; you can stop your eyes. But movement is their nature. So they may not move from object A to object B because you have forced them to remain at A, but then a very strange phenomenon happens. Movement is bound to be there; that is their nature. If you do not allow them movement from A to B, they will move from outwards to inwards. Either they can move from A to B, or if you do not allow this outward movement they will move inwards. Movement is their nature; they need movement. If you suddenly stop and do not allow them to move outwards, they will start moving inwards.

So there are two possibilities of movement. One is from object A to object But – this is an outward movement. This is how it is happening naturally. But there is another possibility which is of tantra and yoga – not allowing movement from one outside object to another and stopping this movement. Then the eyes jump from an outside object to the inner consciousness, they begin to move inwards. Remember these four points; then it will be easy to understand the techniques.


From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

See the First Technique See Your Inner Being in Detail (BOS #21-1).

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and